Author Topic: Winds of Oreo- String Quartet  (Read 472 times)

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Medievalwarfare

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Winds of Oreo- String Quartet
« on: January 26, 2019, 12:04:51 PM »
      As of late, I have been reading about the different instruments of the orchestra and have decided to make this piece to try and use what I learned. I think it turned out pretty well. It's a simple string quartet, and the theme is airy eastern music. Near the end of the piece, you can hear the use of the "Egyptian scale" in both C and D variants. Overall, it's a very light and quick piece.

Score:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/eykp1dpftteb7n4/Winds%20of%20Oreo.pdf?dl=0

Audio:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/y2fop24owbbq4x2/Winds%20of%20Oreo.mp3?dl=0

Michel.R.E

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Re: Winds of Oreo- String Quartet
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2019, 01:14:51 PM »
two quick notes:
1) you can't "divisi" a string quartet. it's four instruments. a "divisi" implies that there is more than one instrument per part.
2) don't bother putting the bow markings. they are either obvious (as is the case in most of these) or they will not fit how the musicians will want to bow the piece.

once you gain a better understanding of string music and bowing (this after having multiple pieces for string played, either solo or ensemble or orchestral) you will start to understand how and why certain bowings are done a certain way.

with time, you will also find that no matter how meticulously you place bow markings, the musicians will... oh 90% of the time?... ignore them completely. it's the sad truth of being a composer  ;)

For an idea, try to get to a music library and look at multiple different editions of the same piece. the bow markings will most likely be different from edition to edition, and even then, there will be penciled-in markings that will contradict what is written.

The only time I really place bow markings is when there is a long phrase that I need to end on a specific bow direction (or that logically would end on that bow direction). I'll only mark the 1st note if it contradicts what would otherwise be another direction.

Simple rule (as a string player) generally 1st and 3rd beats are down bow, 2nd and 4th beats are up bow.
if a phrase starts on the 1st beat, it will generally be played as a down bow.
if a phrase starts on the 2nd beat, it will generally be played as an up bow.
this is VERY generalized, and not in any way, shape, or form, an "absolute" rule.

you will find spots where you've marked no bowing at all (ie: no phrase marks) and the musicians will still group notes under a single bow stroke. the effect will still be non-legato, but it might sing better, or give a better détaché.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

Medievalwarfare

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Re: Winds of Oreo- String Quartet
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2019, 01:28:46 PM »
Okay, I understand the fact about notating now direction. However, for the issue of this piece being originally for string quartet but containing divisi, is it probable to increase the number of instruments so that the music would stay the same and divisi is possible?

Michel.R.E

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Re: Winds of Oreo- String Quartet
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2019, 01:54:11 PM »
either it is a string quartet, or it isn't.
it could be a quintet, a sextet, anything you want, but then, you'd also have to write it with the intention of having 5 (or 6 or more) instruments.

it would not be good writing to have two violins playing in unison continuously throughout a piece, but only have the occasional divisi here and there.

Divisi shouldn't be a means of getting away with extra notes you want. You should be writing for the ensemble in question.
Consider if there are open strings that can be used as part of a multi-stop.
Consider (and here you will have to either play the instrument or find someone willing to go over it with you) if you might do fingered double-stops.

also be aware that you can't switch from intervals larger than a 5th to intervals smaller than a 5th with ease. they both require very different hand positions.

I'd say, if you're going to write for string quartet, then do so, and stay within its limitations to the best of your knowledge.

If you want to know how difficult a fingered passage will be, we have at least three string players in the forum membership: Ron (violin), myself (viola), and Flint (cello). I also believe we have a contrabass player, though this doesn't come into consideration for a string quartet.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

Medievalwarfare

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Re: Winds of Oreo- String Quartet
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2019, 02:06:12 PM »
I don’t think it is a string quartet then. I’ll adjust the song for more instruments because it will sound different from what I have intended it I take out the divisi’s I put in place. They were quite intentional, not simply for adding notes.

Michel.R.E

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Re: Winds of Oreo- String Quartet
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2019, 02:18:22 PM »
let me give you an example of where your use of divisi could have been completely avoided: measure 44. the A is an open string, and the notes under that could all be played on the D string.

by the way, Div. / Unis. , not "tutti"
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

Medievalwarfare

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Re: Winds of Oreo- String Quartet
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2019, 02:21:32 PM »
You’re right. I completely overlooked that.